Jerry Colonna tells people how to survive. Entrepreneurs, mostly. People in the trenches. Working in a startup, he says, “It feels like you’re standing still while your hands on fire.”
A seasoned entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Colonna urges people to focus on what they don’t know. He brings a lot of confessional stuff–Jesus and Bill Gates are fixtures of his presentation. Colonna wants you to look deep inside–“radical self-inquiry.” Below is Colonna speaking for an hour about exposing yourself, and “really dealing with what happens” to you. Colonna encourages people to understand that life in a startup is hard. “Hard, hard, hard, hard.” Acknowledging this gives an entrepreneur power and clearer sight, Colonna promises. “Work is difficulty and drama, a high stakes game in which our identity, our self-esteem and our ability to provide are mixed inside us in volatile, sometimes explosive ways,” he quotes the poet David Whyte. Colonna was an English major at Queens College.
Disappearing into the Fire: Surviving the Startup Life – Jerry Colonna – Pioneers Festival 2014